i didn’t realize it until my wife pointed it out to me, but there are some strange things all michiganders tend to do. for example, whenever i meet a michigan native out here in california, we always do the “make your hand into the mitten-shape of michigan and point out where you’re from” ritual. we’ve even had some of our college students test it out on their out-of-state friends, always with the same result…

it also took my wife’s outside perspective to show me how strange it is that many michiganders are stuck in a 1984 timewarp. this has nothing to do with orwell’s 1984. no, ’84 was the magical year our beloved (and since beleaguered) tigers won the world series. gibby, trammell, “looouuuuu…”, morris, petry, lopez… many restaurants in southeastern michigan still proudly display newspaper clippings and other ’84 memorabilia as if it were yesterday.

that’s why this season has been particularly painful for me. i don’t mean to be a defeatist – i know that tonight was only one loss and they can still win this series against the mighty yankees, but i don’t want to get my hopes up. the tigers started the season so strong… and then trailed off… and then, despite being called flukes by baseball pundits, led their division for most of the season…. until the very last day, that is. a five game losing streak against the woeful blue jays and royals put the tigers (and me) into their current predicament.

in other news, i have a new article up over at relevant.